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THROWING AWAY A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY case study solution (Code: c42)

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Devkumar was a man on the move. Every one in the firm felt that some day
he would be company president. To listen to his boss, Manohar, Vice President
of Marketing it was only a matter of time before Dev would be at the helm.
The current president of the firm was a marketing person. She had
worked her way up from field salesperson to president by selling satisfaction
to customers and raising the image of the company. In a manner of speaking,
the marketing department was the "well-oiled" road to the top. Dev was the
number 1 salesperson and, according to the grapevine, was due to get
Manohar's job when the latter retired in two years. However, Dev was not
sure that he wanted to be Vice President of Marketing. Another slot was
opening up in foreign sales. Dev knew nothing about selling in Europe, but
this was the firm's first venture outside the country and he thought he might
like to give it a try. He alked to Manohar about it, but the Vice President tried to discourage him. In fact, Manohar thought that Dev was crazy to consider the job at all. "Kid", he said, "that's no place for you. Things are soft and cosy back here. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone. You're the number I boy around here. Just sit tight and you will be President. Don't go out and make some end runs." Dev was not convinced. He thought perhaps it would be wise to discuss the matter with the President herself. This he did. The President was very interested in Dcv's ideas about international marketĀ­ing. "If you really think you like to head this office for us, I will recommend your name for the job."

After thinking the matter over carefully, Dev decided that he would much rather go to Europe and try to help establish a foothold over there than sit back and wait for the promotion when his boss retires. He told his decision to Manohar, "Manohar I've talked to the President, and she tells me that this new opening in foreign sales is really going to get a big push from the company. It's where the action is. I realise that I could sit back and take it easy for the next couple of years, but I think I'd rather have the international job." Manohar again told Dev that he was making a mistake. " You're throwing away a golden opportunity. However, if you want it, I'll support you.,,

A week later, when the company selected someone else from sales to head the international division, Dev was crushed. The President explained the situation to him in this way : "I thought you wanted the job and I pushed for you. However, the other members of the selection committee voted against me. I can tell you that you certainly didn't sell Manohar very strongly on your idea. He led the committee to believe that you were really undecided about the entire matter. In fact, I felt rather foolish telling them how excited you were about the whole thing, only to have Manohar say that he had talked to you since that time and you weren't that sure at all. When Manohar got done, the committee members figured that you had changed your mind after talking to me, and they went on to discuss other likely candidates."


  1. Who had power in this organisation ? What type of power did Manohar have ?

  2. Do you think Dev played company politics well ? If so, why didn't he get the international sales job ?

  3. At this point, what would you do if you were Devkumar 7 What political strategies will you use to strengthen your position in the organisation ?


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